Saudi Arabia GP | Alonso “expecting a challenge” in Jeddah

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By Fernanda Álvarez

Looking ahead to the first day of action in Jeddah, Fernando Alonso said during Thursday’s media day in Saudi Arabia that Aston Martin expects “a challenge” for the upcoming races, despite the good performance showed so far this 2023 season.

“There is a challenge in front of us, here in Jeddah and in Australia to see how the car operates,” Alonso explained.

“Different winters in the past, we’ve been testing at Barcelona and Bahrain, so we have two references and we only have one because we tested in Bahrain and we raced in Bahrain.

“At the moment, tomorrow’s going to be like a test day for many teams, including us, trying to know the car on a different circuit and how we operate.”

The Spaniard also did not miss the opportunity to point out that much of the work on the new AMR23 lies on the great collaboration of Stoffel Vandoorne and Felipe Drugovich in the simulator, and with Lance Stroll. Both pairs of drivers are perfectly in tune with what the car needs, in and out of track.

“We’ve been just fine tuning a few things in the way we prepare the race – meeting-wise, timing, presentation, focusing on the important points that you work on with your engineers and with the performance team on the weekends, but also the factory simulator work.

“We have Stoffel, we have Felipe in the simulator, so we try to be aligned on the things that we wish for.

“It’s very easy to get lost on the performance of the car, or on the development, when the simulator drivers ask for few things that the race drivers are not asking for when the real car is on track.

“Those kind of things we’ve try to work on over the winter and I think I’m happy with how things are going, but it’s only two or three months into this project and there’s a lot of people who are new in the team. So, there’s more things to come.” Alonso concluded.

Photo credit: Aston Martin F1 Team